Sorry, Democrats, Being Less Unpopular Than The GOP Isn't Worth Much
August 13, 2010

The most recent NBC/WSJ poll has some Democrats feeling optimistic about their chance in November. Obama pollster Joel Benenson plays up the highlights: • Today’s NBC/Wall St. Journal poll underscores the fact that with fewer than 90 days until the mid-term elections, the Republican Party’s standing is at one of its lowest points ever and its competitive position vs. the Democrats looks much as it did in the summers of 1998 and 2002, neither of which were “wave” elections.

This Is an Economy Election—And That’s Terrible News for Dems
August 13, 2010

Beneath the headlines of the latest NBC/Wall Street Journal survey are some key findings about the voter attitudes that will define the terrain of this year’s midterm election. For this Democrat, at least, they are deeply disquieting. Three sets of findings jumped out at me. The first addresses the kind of election this will be. ·        When asked if their representative’s positions on national issues or performance on local issues would be more important in influencing their vote for congress, 46 percent or respondents said national and 41 said percent local.

How To Succeed In Politics Without Trying To Be Popular
August 12, 2010

The latest NBC/Wall Street Journal poll shows that the Democratic Party remains considerably less unpopular (33% positive/44% negative) than the Republican Party (24% positive/46% negative.) Both are less popular than President Obama. Yet everybody believes the less popular party is going to gain a lot of seats in the fall elections. There are a couple lessons to this paradox that Washington conventional wisdom has not grasped.

Can the Republicans Win Back the Senate? I Do the Math.
August 10, 2010

Last month I published a piece suggesting that while the odds of a Republican takeover of the Senate were not high, the possibility could no longer be ignored. My article was not well received. Critics argued that (among my many sins), I had cherry-picked surveys, given credence to the (allegedly) fatally flawed Rasmussen results, and worst of all, ignored Nate Silver’s superior methodology. In the ensuing four weeks, a number of articles arguing roughly what I did have appeared.

Mitt Romney's Weak Follow-Up
August 06, 2010

Scott Brown won a Senate seat and made himself a conservative star with the massively-successful ploy of driving around in an old car, to show that he was not as rich as he actually was. The stunt was so successful that Mitt Romney has decided to... drive around in an old car: A pickup-driving image helped put Scott Brown in the U.S. Senate, so is Mitt Romney hoping it will drive him to the White House? The 2008 Republican presidential candidate and former Massachusetts governor drove a beat-up pickup to a New Hampshire fundraiser Thursday night.

GM's Turnaround
July 30, 2010

Interesting observation from First Read: We said it at the time: As the GM bailout goes, so goes the Obama presidency. It was the bailout everyone in America could understand, and it wasn’t popular. In our June 2009 NBC/WSJ poll, the American automaker had an awful 18%-47% fav/unfav. A year later, however, the Obama administration believes it has a good story to tell. And today, the president is going to tell that story. Later this morning, he heads to Michigan, where he will tour a Chrysler and then a GM plant. After that, he’ll make remarks about the auto industry at 1:40 pm ET.

The End of the Fox News Era
July 26, 2010

Washington—The smearing of Shirley Sherrod ought to be a turning point in American politics.

Obama's Limits And Anti-Government Sentiment
July 21, 2010

First Read wades into the debate over liberal disappointment with the Obama presidency: When the liberal blogosphere confab, Netroots Nation, kicks off tomorrow in Las Vegas, it will inevitably further the "Why are progressives disappointed in Obama?" storyline. In the past few months, liberal commentators have bemoaned that the public option wasn’t included in the health care law, that the financial reform legislation -- which President Obama will sign into law today -- isn’t strong enough, and that Gitmo still isn't closed.

Obama Is Talking Jobs. Is Anybody Listening?
July 15, 2010

You've heard it a million times: The problem with President Obama is that he hasn't spent enough time talking about jobs. Maybe that's true and maybe that isn't. But the last 24 hours has me wondering whether anybody is even listening. The administration on Wednesday released another report on the economic recovery, such that it is. By its accounting, the stimulus package Obama and the Democrats passed in 2009 created between 2.5 and 3.6 million jobs, raising gross domestic product between 2.7 and 3.2 percent.

Scott Brown Follows His Script
July 12, 2010

[Guest Post by Noam Scheiber:] I have a piece up today dissecting Scott Brown's appeal in Massachusetts and arguing that he represents a pretty effective model for Republicans nationally (and therefore a threat to Democrats).